Betrayal at House on the Hill is one of the most renowned board games out there, and it marks an entry point for many game enthusiasts. Over the years, fans have been delighted by the game's challenging (and often punishing) flow, and it seems a new era is here for families who are interested in the game. After all, the Mystery Incorporated gang has decided to challenge the title, and Scooby-Doo: Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is the perfect way to introduce yourself to the property.
Released by Avalon Hill, Betrayal at Mystery Mansion marks an important shift for the franchise. The game asks players to step into the shoes of the Mystery Inc. gang as they go on one of many adventures. Players can pick which sleuth suits them before living out an episode of Scooby-Doo for themselves. There are even a few film-inspired haunts to explore if you're feeling frisky, and the attention put into each haunt will leave Scooby-Doo lovers nostalgic.
ComicBook.com got the chance to speak with Brian Neff and Noah Cohen, two of the designers who oversaw Betrayal at Mystery Mansion. It was there the team confessed their love for the original Scooby-Doo series and their continued interest in the gang. In fact, their team rewatched the entirety of Scooby-Doo to find appropriate haunts for this game, and they managed to adapt some of the cartoon's greatest villains into ones who suit a board game perfectly.
For fans of the original Betrayal game, this new title is notably different. The game is shorter, it is less punishing, and there is a levity to it that feels very freeing. Players do not need to worry about dying a few rounds into the game, and the staggered difficulty of each haunt allows you to adjust to the terrors lurking in the Scooby-Doo universe. Still, this game doesn't feel too easy for seasoned players; despite its cartoon origins, Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is a co-op game that requires careful strategy lest you want to be gobbled up by a swamp monster.
The easier access point of Betrayal at Mystery Mansion makes the game perfect for newcomers and families with younger kids. The title is meant for players ages eight and up, and the creators worked hard to make the game accessible for that demographic. The colorful game pieces and tiles will entice even the most disinterested player. When this is combined with the game's simplified rules, Betrayal at Mystery Mansion becomes as addictive as Scooby Snacks.
The only point of frustration I had playing was thanks to the character cards. The cardboard pieces often ripped when I put their plastic clips on them. I found that jimmying the clips wider solved the issue, but my poor Velma card was torn rather viciously. If you want to avoid such damage, I recommend opening the clips further or even laminating the character cards before you play.
Betrayal at House on the Hill deserves its reputation as one of the best board games out there, and Scooby-Doo is a worthy spin-off for the IP. Whether you're a seasoned player or newbie, this exciting take on Betrayal will leave you yelling "jinkies" once your haunt starts in full. Scooby-Doo: Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is the perfect way to expand the IP for modern gamers, and there's nothing meddlesome about it.
Rating: 5 out of 50comments
Scooby-Doo: Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is now available through Avalon Hill here.